The Christian Noob (n00b)

born & raised Catholic, now going to a Presbyterian church & still learning

Category Archives: Paganism

as (pagan) music saved my soul: analyzing Eluveitie

A little back ago, I wrote about Eluveitie. I don’t often over-analyze why I listen to the music I like. I just know I like it and want to listen to some song again and again. Anything else I can do without. Since I’m writing (typing) this entry, it’s a fair guess to say that it’s time over-analyze my interest in music — folk metal, in this case. The usual pop melody’s structured around lyrics over percussion (drums) and strings (one or two guitars and a bass — biggest exception being The Doors with an electric organ instead of a bass). The introduction of wind (brass or wood) fills a vast emptiness in the hearing spectrum. All this brings an enrichment to the music as well as exploiting musical modes and/or changing tempos.

as (pagan) music saved my soul: Eluveitie

I’ve been listening to Pagan (also referred to as folk) metal for a while. I’ve currently got Eluveitie (Switzerland) on heavy rotation. Some of their songs are in ancient Celtic languages like Omnos (roughly translated as Fear) written in Gaulish — sort of music for nerds (at least, no songs in KlingonQapla’!) with a range of instruments including

  1. accordions,
  2. bagpipes,
  3. bodhrán,
  4. crumhorns,
  5. fiddles,
  6. flutes,
  7. gaitas,
  8. hammered dulcimers,
  9. harps,
  10. hurdy gurdy,
  11. Irish bouzouki,
  12. mandolas,
  13. pipes,
  14. uilleann pipes,
  15. violas,
  16. violins
  17. and whistles,
  18. not merely the guitar, bass and drums structure in most popular music.

The only problem I’ve got is that a handful of tracks are plain screamo with slight folk metal in the far background. Needless to say (type), I’m a tough customer especially when adding material to my collection of over 600 discs ranging from folk (not metal) and country to electronica and rave to thrash and industrial metal.

what if IBM Watson becomes an ordained minister? maybe

IBM Watson Power 7 (taken from Slashdot)IBM Watson Power 7 might become an ordained minister after all. Several people are already getting married this way. Now this is really cool!

ULC Ministers Join in ‘Robot Wedding’ Trend
But robots have have also played instrumental roles in the ceremonies themselves. At the wedding of Neeva Reese and Moe McLendon in San Juan Capistrano, California, a robot with glowing red eyes named Father Emiglio served as wedding officiant. The groom constructed the unusual wedding minister using the shell of an Italian toy robot called Emiglio, an array of Lego blocks, vacuum tubes, and antennae, a Star Wars Y-wing starfighter for a nose, and ribbon cables for mutton chops. Meanwhile, mechanical engineer Laura Wong used a robot from work to serve as ring-bearer at her wedding.”

http://www.themonastery.org/blog/2014/01/ulc-ministers-join-in-robot-wedding-trend/

Before anyone complains about having a robot minister — especially IBM Watson Power 7, read the following from the program director in IBM’s Watson Solutions Group.

Michael Holmes 10/10/2012 at 09:00:17
Hi. Michael Holmes here, program director in IBM’s Watson Solutions Group. Just to be clear, Watson has no role in ‘becoming’ any kind of human role and will continue to focus on helping professionals make more informed, evidence-based decisions based on its ability to consume and understand vast quantities of written documents. ie- it’s not a doctor. But it is being trained to help oncologists better use the medical literature to make better diagnosis, test, and treatment recommendations for cancer patients.”

rants: what if?

what if there’s no God & religion’s a waste of time?
what if there’s only one real God & his name’s not whatever we think it could be?
what if the real religion’s not what you practice?
what if all relgions were wrong & all faiths could be one?

what if government could work & policians were honest?
what if we could all work hard for a paycheck & it could last more than a day?
what if moderm medicine wasn’t based on big pharma‘s money & children weren’t sick?
what if I didn’t write for nothing & you cared to answer my questions above?

what if? what if?

when a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim and a Pagan walk into a bar to meet an alien

Alien hack masterI wonder what reaction these five individuals (the Christian, the Jew, the Muslim, the Pagan & the alien) would be when staring at one another. Something tells me that the alien would be asked if he (or she) believes in God (or Goddess, for that matter) before anything else. The nerd in me is dying to know what the alien would respond. I also wonder if the alien would think that any of the others is God or call himself God.

Growing up, the common stand regardless of religious beliefs on extraterrestrial life was that there’s no such a thing. It was even considered by many as wrong, devilish or simply ridiculous. Maybe this meant that we’re too proudly stubborn and/or vulgarly selfish to consider the possibility that God could’ve created elsewhere in the cosmos. Then again, we might simply be too scared to have our fragile understanding of reality proven wrong.

Nowadays more people believe in aliens than in God — at least, in the UK.

“More than 33 million U.K. citizens believe in extraterrestrial life, compared to just over 27 million — less than half the country — who believe in God.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/15/alien-believers-outnumber-god_n_1968259.html

In the US, it seems that we still believe in God more than in aliens

“More than 9 in 10 Americans still say ‘yes’ when asked the basic question ‘Do you believe in God?'; this is down only slightly from the 1940s, when Gallup first asked this question.”
http://www.gallup.com/poll/147887/americans-continue-believe-god.aspx

or at least 56% still consider religion as important.

Religion - Gallup Historical Trends
courtesy of Gallup, http://www.gallup.com/poll/1690/religion.aspx

Originally when I started writing this post, I thought most religious beliefs would point at a total rejection to the possibility of alien life.

Although I’m no expert, I see that Judaism is much more open to the possibility of us (humans) having distant cousins perhaps in some Class M planet that we haven’t found yet or cared to study properly.

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